My Internet Provider Blows – Fifty Plus Going On Fifteen

I moved from cable to AT&T Uverse. A made the shift a few years ago due to the poor quality of cable and AT&T Uverse was great initially.  Over the past 12 months, the service has gone from okay to poor and last night we lost Uverse, and all I can get from AT&T is that it is broke.

So I sit here now unable to complete any work since I have data limitations wondering if I will be able to work from home tomorrow but I am catching up on overdue blogging. There is a silver lining in every cloud right.

So whats up today since we are disconnected from cable TV also?

First off, my daughter gets married in less than a month so my bride of 30 plus years and daughter are making mints today which is a good thing right since I do not need to make mints. We are looking forward to the pending nuptials, and we are fond of her partner.

I am busy making dog food for my elderly Jack Russell named Scrappy who went on a 30 plus day hunger strike after losing his lifelong partner who was 14 years old. I now make healthy meats for him in the pressure cooker and air fryer, and at about 45 days he started nibbling on wet dog food but will not touch dry food. The funny thing is, with the change of diet, his bloodwork comes in much better than before. Go figure.

Since my bride is out making mints, I am finishing the laundry, and of course, I do it wrong, but she can adjust as needed.  I fold one way, and she another way. I do hang up clothes before the wrinkle though. I hate wrinkly clothing.

It has been a dry summer, so I had not mowed for a few weeks to prevent damage to the lawn. Today, I mowed the back, but it started raining so I will complete the front later this week.  The dogs had a toy cemetery in the backyard, remnants of toys destroyed in battle strewn everywhere.

My son is sorting things out and being in his early twenties is trying to figure out who he is and what he wants to do. He comes by this naturally since I am in my mid-fifties and doing the same. He has worked hard on getting in shape through kickboxing and other activities and has lost nearly 25% of his body weight which is pretty impressive.

As you can see in earlier posts, my bride of thirty plus years is keeping busy with paracording, jewelry, and the wedding. Last week, she sold an old Dodge Dakota we had since I was out of town and negotiated our goal sales price, so I say a great job to her.

Today I woke up to the light switch not working in the bedroom so of course, I blamed the Amish who wired our house when it built nearly 20 years ago when the neighborhood developed. We have run into some funky wiring issues over the years so do not have Amish wire your house. I did fix the problem and found nothing funky this time.

So it looks like tonight we will be watching DVDs since AT&T has not fixed our issue. I hope the DVD player works since it has been a while since I used it. We have been considering moving to Verizon unlimited on our phones and may do that if we can tether. We have limited options otherwise.

My bride of thirty plus years is still at my daughter’s house making wedding mints, the doggy jerky is done and cooling off on the counter, the laundry is folded and hung, the lawn is half mowed, and I have defrosted the burgers for dinner so will close for now.

My internet with AT&T is still not working, but my Verizon hotspot works so I can at least blog and do a little surfing.

Who do you use for the internet and if you use AT&T what is your opinion on service?

It’s excellent being fifty plus going on fifteen. It would be better yet if I were connected.

Have a great one, Jay

Never Turn Down A Chance To Learn – Fifty Plus Going On Fifteen

A couple of weeks ago I was able to get my head above water with my new job that I started in 2018 so returned to WA and blogging on my primary website to do something I genuinely love.

This week I was scheduled to attend a mandatory class in the Raleigh North Carolina area so on Monday I flew to Raleigh without issue, and last night I flew home, and although there were some difficulties, I was only about 90 minutes late walking in the door last night.

My bride of thirty plus years, and dogs whose names are Scrappy, Roxy, and Desilu were all happy to see me although I walked in the door and crashed.

I was not looking forward to the class I was attending because it was a sales class for experienced salespeople who develop their leads, build their customer base, and pitch innovative solutions for technical issues.

There were many reasons that I was not looking forward to the class but at the age of fifty- five going on fifteen I learned once more why the key to a happy life is continual learning and networking.

Why do I say that? There are many reasons, and I will elaborate a bit.

The first reason it was beneficial was that the class was not only learning techniques but also applying them and using them in workshops.


The week was fast paced where you were assigned a client call, had to prepare for the client call and had to present to the acting client and your peers. During the presentation, you received a score on the success of the client call and your Net Promoter Score.

You wanted to score 5 or higher on a 0 to 10 scale, and even though I was sweating each session, my average for the client call and Net Promoter Score was slightly below seven (7) so all and all I was happy with my score and learned that I need to hone my skills further.

During the four (4) days of training, we covered techniques that the new company I work for wants us to utilize that have been proven to work over the years. Most attendees of this class are experienced salespeople recently hired from other companies in 2018, so we have the desired skills but skills that may require tweaking to meet expectations.

Additionally, building teamwork and networking was a goal of the class, so we were first assigned to teams of eight (8) and were reassigned to different groups when we made client presentations resulting in input and critiquing from more than thirty (30) of our peers and facilitators.

The course started with two (2) weeks of preparatory work performed after hours requiring 10 to 20 hours of add-on work and week three (3) was in Raleigh North Carolina.

Now that we completed phase one (1) and two (2) we move onto the next stages with our next face to face in the Windy City, Chicago Illinois in November followed by more training.

All is good, and it is nice to find a company that is willing to invest in you and the company by providing training to personnel. It has been a long time since I have experienced this type of atmosphere and I appreciate the tools provided and workshops.

What type of training do you participate in for work? Do you like the education provided?

It is excellent being fifty plus going on fifteen and better yet to be able to learn new things. You can teach an old dog new tricks even though the gray matter is not as absorbent as it once was.

Best of luck, Jay

I Love Traveling – Fifty Plus Going On Fifteen

I have been tied up in sales school this week, so I have been unable to blog. I hope everyone is having a great day.

We sit on the tarmac in Charlotte NC on an American airlines commuter jet unable to take off. There is nothing we can do about it since we are waiting for updated paperwork. Why have we waited for nearly an hour for paperwork that allows us to fly? Good question but I am sure that there will be free drinks on this flight.

When I was younger, this would have bothered me since I was not in control
Today, I don’t care although it does mess with transportation home. Worst case, I Lyft or Uber it.  In the past, I chose to drive instead of fly because I was out of control when delays occurred. Now, what does it matter?

I have spent most of my life traveling and by far flying is my least preferred method of travel. Think about it, security checkpoints and early arrival, overpriced food and drinks, waiting for areas without enough seats, automated and I’ve clearly labeled trash and recycling bins, and of course delays and cancellations. Oh yeah, forgot about the 31 inches between places, the lack of padding in the economy area and lost luggage.

Traveling by air is bad enough, now let’s discuss ground transportation.

Usually, I rent a vehicle but in 2018 transitioned to cabs, Uber and Lyft.
I prefer lift, but during this trip, my Lift driver could not find me and when she arrived there was no place for my luggage since her trunk was full of junk. Go figure. Cabs have terrible customer service, I do not like Uber’s uplifts, and airport rental fees kill you.

Yes, I am becoming a grumpy traveler today, but I genuinely do not care since I have no control.

We just took off. I believe we will be lucky to arrive at 10 PM. Who knows but all is good since I will get home tonight.

I have traveled .on trains, plains, automobiles, ferries, ships, submarines, busses, and other modes of transportation and flying is comparable to riding a bus but quicker.

I hope the flight attendant arrives soon with an overpriced drink and small bag of cookies. Remember the days of sandwiches or actual snacks on planes?

The beautiful thing about this flight and the delay is that I am practicing typing on the tablet using the embedded keyboard and as you know, muscle memory is key to doing something like this.

I am looking forward to getting home and seeing my bride of 30 years, kids, and puppies. Scrappy, Roxy and Desilu always miss me when I am home, and I need some puppies to love.

So, I have practiced typing on my tablet, complained about flying, and will soon have an overpriced drink.

My bloody mary was a double and was not free, but I did get a free bag of chips. The flight was uneventful after my bloody mary, but it was cool seeing thunderstorms from above instead of below after dark.

Arrived home only an hour later than planned and my daughter and future son and law picked me up. My bride and the dogs were happy to see me, and I am glad to be home.

Do you enjoy flying? What is your preference, cab, Uber or Lyft?

It’s excellent being fifty plus going on fifteen.

Thanks for stopping by and commenting.


Addicted To Paracord And Kumihimo – Fifty Plus Going On Fifteen

OZarko Creations

In late 2017 my bride of 30 plus years was hospitalized for a week and during that time started paracording to fill her time.  We thought it was a hobby, but over time it has become an addiction that filled one spare bedroom, the dining room, part of the garage, and part of a local boutique.

Renee started out my making dog collars and leashes but the variety of products has mushroomed into bracelets, necklaces, flip flops, horse leads, key chains, cable covers, monkey fists, outdoor survival devices, and the list goes on and on.

Although Renee had plenty to keep her busy with paracord, she started making Kumihimo jewelry so she could make bracelets for Ali’s bridesmaids, so we now own the paracord and Kumihimo market in Republic Missouri.

In an attempt to dispose or sell the overwhelming amount of paracord and Kumihimo product Renee has produced, we started to attend local events, fairs, and farmers markets where we actively sell these items to the local public.

Learning which events are worth participating has been an exciting exercise. There are days where we are in the black and days we are in the red, but by far fairs and farmers markets are the best venues to attend.

We have set up a page on Facebook, and we are partially set up on Etsy. Our goal is to build our website, and we have bought the address, but my travels have impacted accomplishing this long-term goal.

Renee has a farmers market circuit we participate in where we set up her booth on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturday in Nixa and Republic Missouri. We have made some new friends during and have attracted many tire kickers and numerous customers. Unluckily, we spend money at many of the vendors for fresh produce and other desired items but why not.

Nixa Farmers Market

Our boutique booth at Peabody’s in Republic does a consistent amount of business, and it is a consignment type relationship where we pay a percentage of the sale, but it is worth it for the exposure.  Peabody’s rents out space for weddings, and other special events, so traffic is decent.

It is great seeing Renee doing something she loves and much better than her working for an established company where you are just an employee. I do prep work for Renee on the product that she incorporates into her paracord offerings which can be fun.

I am sitting in Nixa Missouri at the intersection of Main Street and Mt. Vernon Street as I type this blog and there has been a good turnout of people with most tire kicking but some buying product. The temperature is in the high 80s with a slight wind blowing so not a bad day at all.

Renee left me alone at the booth so she could run to McDonald’s to grab a cup of coffee, etc. Like I said before, we make a little and spend a little when we attend events, but they are fun. I am trying to decide what I will be offering on my side of the booth but have not decided yet.

Life is short. It is crucial for each of us to have a hobby or craft that we genuinely enjoy and when you can make money with while doing it, all the better. I wish I could recover the bedroom, half of the dining room, and part of the garage back but the kids are gone so no big deal.

What hobby or craft do you enjoy doing and do you make money at it? It’s excellent being fifty plus going on fifteen.

Have a great day.


I”m Back – Fifty Plus Going On Fifteen

It has been many months since I have posted an article and for that, I apologize. It is my goal to get back into the swing of things and post weekly on Fifty Plus Going On Fifteen.

In early 2018, I started a new job with one of the largest companies in the world, and it has been an exciting seven (7) months. Unluckily, the new job is the primary reason I have neglected my website.

Much has happened since the beginning of the year both good and bad, but I will not bore you with all the details. I will provide a quick overview of the year using it as an exercise to get the fingers and mind working.

We have not camped as frequently this year since I have been on the road much of the year but we are returning to the swing of things. Cloud 9 Ranch has been recovering from the devastating floods of 2017 which proves mother nature is all powerful.

My travels:

I have visited clients in Mississippi, Florida, Texas, Minnesota, New York, Georgia, California and have given up driving long distances to become a frequent flier on American and Delta airlines. Developing a new client base takes time and selling a service is not like selling cars.

Unluckily, I waste much time at airports now which was probably the primary reason I drove instead of flying, but I am improving my airport efficiency. I did get a passport, and I am TSA approved to decrease my time standing in line. All is good on this front.

Rental cars are no longer the norm when I travel, and I do enjoy the ease of using Lyft. I have not tried out Uber yet since Lyft has not let me down but I am sure I will use Uber soon. I am surprised that New York City is trying to limit Uber and Lyft, but it only takes a couple of open palms to fix that problem.

Occasionally, I had rented cars from Avis and Hertz with Avis being my favorite. I nearly ripped off the luggage rack when pulling into a motel parking garage in Minneapolis Minnesota but stopped before the car was damaged. I did

I have stayed at some enjoyable motels this year with my favorite being Hotel 50 Bowery in New York City. This motel also had good food and coffee which was a shocker since it is hard to find decent coffee at a motel. In a couple of weeks, I will be in the Raleigh/Durham area so hope that trip is successful.

My checked garment bag and suitcase finally died in Texas so I had to pick up a new one and it was a pain finding a combo piece of luggage and expensive. The new bag is doing well, and I can pack over 40 pounds in it without making the seams pop. Great investment.

My Homelife:

We lost our oldest Jack Russell (Buddy) at the age of 14, and it was tough to watch him cross the rainbow bridge. His companion of 12 years (Scrappy) is finally digging out of his depression but will not dry or wet dog food so we have developed a special diet for him that has improved his blood work.

In July, we brought in a new rescue and named her Desi Lu. She was returned to the rescue on multiple occasions even though she is only six months old, but we have made significant progress replacing bad experiences with good experiences. Roxy who is our two-year-old rescue is a great big sister and would have been a great mom.

Our daughter gets married in a couple of months, and she has done an excellent job at planning her wedding and honeymoon. We are anxious for the big day to occur. Work is going well for her, and she travels as well.

Likewise, our son lives on his own and manages a local butcher shop. He also works at the slaughterhouse and has achieved a personal goal of losing 20 percent of his body weight through hard work during 2018.

My bride of thirty plus years has continued to develop her para cord craft business, and we participate in farmers markets and events throughout the region to sell the product she produces.

I am sure I could go on, but it is time to wrap up this exercise. It is great to be back in the saddle and greater yet to be Fifty Plus going On Fifteen.

Thanks for stopping by and feel free to leave feedback.


The Sound Of Music – Fifty Plus Going On Fifteen

AlpsLove The Alps

It has been fifty-two (52) years since the Sound Of Music premiered and I have never watched it. It is hard to believe that this movie was not only a box office success but was an artistic classic.

This week, I was volunteered to attend the Sound Of Music musical at Juanita K. Hammons Hall in Springfield Missouri and being a non-musical person, I did not look forward to a performing arts rehash.

My bride of thirty (30) years plus and son of twenty-two (22) would attend with me so I thought we would make the most out of the night by eating out. It was my goal to at least get a decent meal out of the evening.

We ate at Bruno’s which is an authentic Italian restaurant in the downtown business district, and I had a small glass of house merlot and a great meal to start out the evening. I also enjoyed the company since we had not been out for dinner in some time.

Our daughter was kind enough to stay with our fur babies since our alpha male Scrappy tore his ACL and has been a pain in the butt while healing. Buddy and Roxy enjoyed the company so I figured everyone would enjoy the night even though I was going to a musical.

We arrived 45 minutes early so we could get to our seats since we were in the middle of the mezzanine in row G and everyone must have forgotten I like end seats. Anyhow, I bought a cup of Starbucks coffee which I detest but needed to keep myself awake.

Being in the middle of any row is a challenge and being an ex-submariner I make every effort to not be in the center. We experienced the typical clueless theater fans who come in on the wrong side of the theater and laugh and giggle about how they made a mistake and are so sorry to make you stand up so they can get to the correct seat.

It is times like this that you ask specific questions that I cannot repeat on this blog for numerous reasons. I can and will think them though.

Why Go To A Movie?

So the lights dim and it is time for me to take a 120-minute snooze and the show starts with Preludium sung by the Nuns of the Nonnberg Abbey cast. A bit of dust touched my eye and for some reason, my night went from being a dreaded event to a mesmerizing night at the theater.

You heard me correctly, the musical I had no desire to watch was not only the center of my attention, but there was no way I would miss a minute of it.

The cast’s performance was incredible in all aspects. Musical renditions were perfect, and the skill of the actors was on the mark. They appeared not only to know the parts but also seemed to enjoy performing for the audience.

Primary Cast Members

No matter the scene, I was transfixed, and when the intermission occurred, I was amazed that two (2) hours had nearly passed. I needed to take care of business, but there was no way I was taking a chance on missing any of the musical.

The last acts played out, and when the final curtain fell, I was sad that the Sound of Music had finished and that this magic moment in my life had come to an end.

We left the theater in awe, and after fighting traffic in the parking garage we went home for the night, and I was glad my daughter allowed me to use her ticket.

Being fifty plus going on fifteen can be heart touching at times when you find out you have missed out on a treasure and I believe the Sound Of Music is a treasure. I will now watch the original movie and hope it moves me like the theatrical version.

  • Have you ever dreaded attending a similar event and had the time of your life.
  • What are your thoughts about The Sound Of Music?

I wish you health, safety, and success. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

Jay Patterson

Be Right, Not Politically Correct – Fifty Plus Going On Fifteen

Moonwalk During Apollo Missions


I have been tied up traveling for a new job the last week so wanted to check in and put some words on my keyboard.

Today, we woke up to the news that John Young has passed away at the age of 87 and he was an accomplished astronaut and an American hero.

I am a child of the 60s and 70s, so I have many memories lodged in the grey matter surrounding the space program and cold war competition that involved space.

John Young participated in the Gemini, Apollo, and Shuttle programs and traveled to space while attached to each.

  • As one of few individuals who walked on the moon, John was also one of the few squeaky wheels when it came to space program safety.
  • Most astronauts drifted off into the sunset and took advantage of fame in the civilian sector, but John Young as part of the NASA until 2004 when he officially retired in his 70s.
  • John Young impacted the world in many ways, and he lived his life based on his quote “You Don’t Want To Be Politically Correct, You Want To Be Right.”

Who can argue with a point like that? 

Well, today it seems like we have become politically correct to a fault and if we do not wake up soon, progress will be impossible because of PC.

  • The politically correct (PC) world that has evolved over the last fifty (50) years is destroying society and stifling the benefits of diversity.

Don’t Let Others Talk Over You!!

This week, I started my new career at a large, diverse corporation that is 100 plus years old and has a cosmic footprint.

  • The primary goal of the orientation class appeared oriented at getting a diverse group of people to network and communicate. These are all great things.
  • Our orientation class had US citizens, foreign citizens, foreign nationals, numerous races, and undoubtedly many more HR classifications of people.
  • We were broken up into different teams through much of the day so you had the chance to work with everyone in orientation at least once and it was a successful day I believe.

After orientation class, a few of us were not flying out until the next day, so we walked the drizzly downtown streets until we found a small pub with food and drink.

  • We had a couple of drinks, and some great local fare food and after started discussing challenges encountered in today’s world.
  • It should not be a surprise that we have people at different ends of the political spectrum at the table, so a lively conversation occurred for probably sixty (60) minutes.
  • Being of the same generational age, we had much in common, but our life experiences were significantly different resulting in what our expectations of government intervention should be.
  • We ended the conversation civilly, and although neither of us swayed, we both made some thought-provoking points and learned that although different, we were closer than thought.

Diversity And Dialogue Is Great!!!

This line of thinking brings me back to what PC is doing to our world. A short list of why PC is negative includes.

  • Reduces Dialogue – People Do Not Want To Talk.
  • Offenders Run Over others – Shout Louder And Longer.
  • Makes Society Dumber – Close Your Eyes And Ears.
  • Increased Stubbornness And Ignorance – Hunker Down.
  • Freedom Of Speech Is Compromised – You Cannot Say That.
  • This Short List Just Scratches The Surface!!

Welcome to the 21st Century where it is becoming more like 1984 where Political Correctness is reducing diversity while acting as a champion for diversity and we are scratching our heads trying to learn what the new rules of the game are.

  • With that, I will say I would rather “Be Right, Not Politically Correct.” I also must thank John Young and other heroes like him that were willing to not cave in for PC.

Please share your thoughts surrounding this subject.

  • What Are Your Thoughts On Our PC World?
  • Who Are Your Non-PC Heroes?

I wish you health, safety, and success in 2018. It sure is great being fifty plus going on fifteen.

Jay Patterson

Pull Your Finger Out Of The Dike – Fifty Plus Going On Fifteen

2017-2018 LeapHappy 2018

As 2018 closes, I can genuinely say that I am starting the part four of my life of which I hope there are five parts.

  • The first part of my life was my formative years in North Dakota where I grew up, and my base persona developed. Growing up in the 60s and 70s as a cop’s kid was interesting.
  • Part two of my life was my time in the Navy and initial family time where I developed further but was still wet behind the ears. During this time, I was on submarines, tenders and traveled the world.
  • The third part of my life was my civilian career where I worked for many small companies in South Dakota, Iowa, Missouri, Georgia, and California. During this period I honed many of my professional skills.
    • This is the period of my life I regularly had my finger(s) and other body parts in the dike to keep things running for ownership.
  • Part four of my life starts in 2018 and I will be working for a multinational company as a solutions executive where I take everything I have learned in life and work and make it stick.
  • The fifth part is unknown as of yet, but I believe I will be cruising in an RV with my bride of forty (40) plus years, with fur babies and grandchildren, while riding ATVs and side by sides.

Five Parts To LifeFive (5) Parts Of Life

So here I sit, fifty plus going on fifteen about to start a new career and this is when I reflect on what has changed or what I will modify to make the fourth part of my life a success.

I owe it to my bride, children, and me to not only challenge myself but also be content for the duration of this period of my life.

Overall, this is a significant change since I have always been the person that accepts critical fill positions, takes control of broken situations, and turns it around.

It is time for me to pull my finger(s) out of the dike to prevent flooding for ownership groups that did not always reciprocate the efforts and finally do what is right for my family and me.

DikePull My Finger Out Of The Dike

I could name specifics on the companies but will not since I left these companies sometime back but was limited in career choice due to employment agreements.

My goal was to be involved in sales during my fourth part of my life before a long-term employer sold the business to a group that did not understand the market they were entering so ended up traveling a different path the last couple of years.

This change in plans delayed my entry into part four of my life which I commence tomorrow, and I am excited that I will be working for and with an established innovation leading company.

Additionally, this change will be sales and program development oriented which was my goal career at this point in my life, so all is looking good.

With this change, I will not need to deal with:

  • Unfunded paychecks.
  • Past due vendor payments.
  • Ensuring HR is servicing employees.
  • High employee turnover rate with new ownership.
  • Customer issues based on manning and logistic challenges.
  • 365 day, 24-hour availability to resolve problems.
  • Direction to change numbers for an investment group.
  • The list goes on, but I will keep it short.

Today, I need to button up work for some of the smaller companies I have worked for and with the last two years. The experience with these companies has added more tools to my toolbox, but in the end, I need to do what is best for my family and me.

The new career decision does not change my long-term goal of establishing a small business consulting/coaching website, but that is a 3 to 5-year goal for my family and me.

Working in this new direction also gives me the ability to help develop and sell a service that is needed, so I am incredibly excited about this opportunity.

Move On To Something Bigger And Better For Part Four (4)

Please stay tuned for updates on how this goes and feel free to comment on similar situations and how you are doing.

  • What part of life are you in currently? 
  • Are there more than five (5) parts to life?
  • Have you had similar experiences and situations?

I wish you health, safety, and success in 2018. Being fifty plus going on fifteen can be exhilarating.

Happy New Year!!

Jay Patterson

How I Joined The US Navy – Fifty Plus Going On Fifteen

North DakotaNorth Dakota Skyline

I am proud to be from North Dakota and happy that I was able to grow up with the freedom that is almost unknown in this day and age.

In many ways, you could compare the escapades of my friends and myself much like Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn although 100 plus years later and located in Jamestown North Dakota.

All good things must come to an end as they say and as I entered Senior High School, it was apparent that my future was limited in North Dakota, so I started looking at options.

-I loved auto body and auto mechanics but without a college fund and being bored in High School, my potential to attend higher education was limited.

  • There were numerous options for work in agriculture and service industries in the area, but without higher education, my Career possibilities would decrease as my body aged.
  • A military career was possible, but if this were my choice, I would need to leave my family, my friends, and the life and freedom I so enjoyed. The long-term career and training opportunity was a plus.
  • The worst direction was a career that included making big rocks into small rocks if caught. You may think that I am joking, but it was possible being the product of a law enforcement family.

During my junior year, I decided to join the military, and I wanted to be a United States Marine as my primary choice and a United States Sailor as my alternate choice.

  • I met with the Marine and Navy recruiters and decided I wanted to be a photographer or meteorologist.
  • The ASVAB test would determine what I would qualify for, so I held fast until I was old enough to test.
  • It was my goal to sign up for the Marines when I turned seventeen (17) and leave for boot camp once I graduated from high school.
  • A couple of weeks before taking the ASVAB, my dad informed me that he would not sign for me if I went into the Marines so I decided the Navy was the way to go.

RTC Great Lakes - Source: US NavyUS Navy RTC Great Lakes IL – Source: US Navy

Around the time I turned seventeen (17), the Navy Recruiter scheduled my ASVAB test in Fargo North Dakota.

  • Numerous potential recruits and I arrived at the Ramada Inn and commenced to prepare for the ASVAB by getting crocked.
  • Early the next morning we were taken to the AFEEs Station where we would take the ASVAB test, and we were all in poor shape.
  • We took the ASVAB test, and I was sure I was going to be scraping paint in the Navy since I was so hung over.
  • There was no drumroll, but there was a score provided that allowed me to choose any Navy career I wanted.
  • The recruiter was immediately on me to choose nuclear power or advanced electronics, but I wanted to be a photographer or meteorologist.

I held firm in my choices and the recruit detailer determined the timeline for me to leave for the Navy based on the need for photographers of meteorologists.

  • Shocked is an understatement when informed that the wait for these fields was at least twelve (12) months out.
  • These options had to be a set up since the recruiter and station received more points for the fields they wanted me to select.
  • It was back to the drawing board since the wait was too long for careers I preferred jobs.
  • In the end, I selected the advanced electronics field where my career was limited to a select training field.

The paperwork was submitted, and I was sworn into the Navy under the Delayed Entry Program and would leave a week after graduation in 1981.

CPOEnded Up A Chief

We have all made career decisions with limited knowledge of what to expect. In my mind, I had not only selected a career but was also anticipating an adventure.

Thanks for visiting and would appreciate your comments and/or input.

  • Have you ever leaped into the unknown when relocating or accepting a job?
  • Did you make similar decisions when joining the military?

I wish you health, safety, and success. It sure is great being fifty plus going on fifteen.

Jay Patterson

I Love Dirt Track Stock Car Racing – Fifty Plus Going On Fifteen

Marks Dirt Track RacingJameston Speedway – Source: Marks Dirt Track Racing

Growing Up In Jamestown North Dakota in the 60s and 70s allowed you to look forward to certain events much like the seasons.

The calendar was marked specifically in order of occurrence through the year.

  • Boy Scout Fair at the Civic Center occurred in mid-March and was an indoor competition between local scout troops. My Troop won the scout fair with Finger Printing.
  • Last snowfall of the year which normally followed the first melt. This event would normally occur in late March to the middle of April.
  • Fishing season (non-ice) which started on or about April 1st. You could fish off the shores or in boats for perch, walleye, northern pike, etc.
  • Lawn mowing season would normally start about the same time as the fishing season.
  • Stock car racing season which started in early May and ended in late September or early October. This was the greatest late model and street car racing in the upper midwest.
  • School ended for summer which normally occurred on Memorial Day weekend unless there were too many snow days.
  • The Stutsman County Fair surrounding the 4th of July where the Murphy Brothers Exposition came to town. There was a midway, concerts, Joey Chitwood, tractor pulls, demolition derbies, and stock car racing.
  • School started during the Labor Day weekend and it was also the start of leave raking season and Indian summer.
  • Stock car racing ended in late September or early October and the Stock Car Stampede was the final event of the year.
  • Hunting seasons for upland game, waterfowl, deer, etc, would occur throughout the fall. My favorite was working the potholes for ducks and geese.
  • Christmas school break and ice fishing season normally started around the third week of December. School started up in early January and ice fishing continued until the ice was no longer safe to walk on.

My favorite event when growing up was stock car racing since our entire family was not only involved in it but truly attached to it.

Stock Car Racing happened every Wednesday night from early May to late September unless the races were rained out.

  • On Wednesday nights, time was short between my parents getting off work and us heading to the races so we normally had burgers from the American Legion which were delicious.
  • We would chow down the burgers while watching the Sonny and Cher show on CBS and once complete would head to the races so we could get our normal seats in front of the announcer’s booth.
  • Once at the races, we enjoyed rooting for our favorite drivers for three (3) to four (4) hours and we cursed those we did not like. Many of our favorite drivers included:
    • Mike and Rich Swangler (#10 and #12).
    • Ernie Brookings (#41)
    • Bobby Zimmerman (#13)
    • Dick Miller (#76)
  • This was our weekly family event and I would never trade it for a million dollars. I can still remember my ears ringing from the noise, dirt caked on my face, and mosquito bites everywhere. It was great.

Marks Dirt Track Racing 2





Source: Marks Dirt Track Racing





When vacation season rolled around in July, we would follow the Northern Racing Circuit for a week of racing. Jim Corcoran promoted not only the Jamestown ND tracks but also the tracks below that we visited.

  • Grand Forks ND on Friday Night.
  • Kittson County, Hallock MN on Saturday Night.
  • Riverside Speedway, Crookston MN on Sunday Afternoon.

During our vacation week, we round stay in motels, eat out, and enjoy our favorite racers at new tracks. It was so much fun.

When fall would hit, we had the Stock Car Stampede to attend which occurred over the weekend in late September or early October.

  • This was the last event of the year before the snows and was scheduled for Saturday night and Sunday afternoon.
  • More than 100 cars would come to compete for the large purses that were awarded to the winners.
  • Nobody held back since it was the last race of the year and I remember one year where it snowed during the races.

When the last checkered flag waved, it was clear that winter would arrive soon and another joyful season had come to an end.

Dreams were forged at the Jamestown Speedway and although as a teenager I pitted for a friend and ran a wrecker, I never drove a stock car during a race.

Marks #3Source: Marks Dirt Track Racing

  • What memories do you have of family activities or vacations that you will never forget?
  • Did you have similar dreams based on family activities or vacation?

Thanks for stopping by and I wish you health, safety, and success. It is great being fifty plus going on fifteen.

Jay Patterson